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Higher Wages in Exporting Firms: Self-selection, Export Effect, or Both? First Evidence from German Linked Employer-Employee Data

  • Thorsten Schank

    ()

    (Chair of Labour and Regional Economics, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Claus Schnabel

    ()

    (Chair of Labour and Regional Economics, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Joachim Wagner

    ()

    (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg)

ABSTRACT: While it is a stylized fact that exporting firms pay higher wages than non-exporting firms, the direction of the link between exporting and wages is less clear. Using a rich set of German linked employer-employee panel data we follow over time plants that start to export. We show that the exporter wage premium does already exist in the years before firms start to export, and that it does not increase in the following years. Higher wages in exporting firms are thus due to self-selection of more productive, better paying firms into export markets; they are not caused by export activities.

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Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 74.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:74
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  1. on Exports and Productivity, The International Study Group, 2007. "EXPORTS AND PRODUCTIVITY - comparable evidence for 14 countries," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 110, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  2. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2007. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 52-74, May.
  3. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  6. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence from Firm-level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 60-82, 01.
  7. Alda, Holger & Bender, Stefan & Gartner, Hermann, 2005. "The linked employer-employee dataset of the IAB (LIAB)," IAB Discussion Paper 200506, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  8. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  9. Munch, Jakob Roland & Rose Skaksen, Jan, 2009. "Human Capital and Wages in Exporting Firms," Working Papers 09-2006, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  10. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: First evidence from a matching approach," HWWA Discussion Papers 155, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  12. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
  13. Bernard, A. & Wagner, J., 1996. "Exports and Success in German Manufacturing," Working papers 96-10, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  15. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Flora Bellone & Liza Jabbour & Patrick Musso & Lionel Nesta & Stefano Schiavo, 2007. "Exports and productivity : comparable evidence for 14 countries," Working Papers hal-00973116, HAL.
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